Coveted internships for construction management ākonga

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Two WITT Te Pūkenga Construction Management ākonga have been selected for three-week internships on stage two of Project Maunga.

Stage Two is the continuation of the Taranaki Base Hospital Redevelopment and will see the construction of the new East Wing Building (NEWB), a 20,000m2, six-storey building housing many of Taranaki Base Hospital’s acute services including ED and ICU.

The internships are sponsored and delivered by RCP and Te Whatu Ora and are a result of a partnership between WITT Te Pūkenga the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and Project Maunga led by Katrina Mayo to help generate the workforce needed for the project.

Katrina Mayo works alongside the Project Maunga management team to coordinate recruitment, training and upskilling, as well as engaging with local education organisations and providing support for site workers, which at the project peak will number in excess of 300.

“The internships are just one of the things we have in place to incubate talent for the project and form a talent pipeline between WITT Te Pūkenga and Project Maunga,” says Katrina.

Former brewer Jack Kingston has one year to complete of the two-year NZ Diploma in Construction (Level 6) at WITT Te Pūkenga. The qualification can pathway into construction management or quantity surveying.

“I’ve always liked maths and spreadsheets and without a background in construction quantity surveying looks like the right fit for me,” he says.

He loves the classroom-based learning and says: ”I was fortunate to be awarded the internships which has helped made the bookwork make more sense.”

As part of the internship Jack has also been required to design and cost a one-off project.

“Jack’s proposed garden upgrade for Te Puna Waiora, the hospital’s mental health ward, has been well received and gives him valuable  real world experience and helps add evidence of his skills and abilities to his portfolio which will stand him in good stead when it comes time to apply for a job,” says Katrina.

Meanwhile fellow classmate carpenter Ash Knowles is looking to build on his 10 years of hands-on knowledge of the construction industry and move into construction management.

“Construction is what I know and it makes sense to stay in the same field and develop my off-the tools skillset,” he says of his plans to upskill with the NZ Diploma in Construction (Level 6).

The internship he was awarded sees him partnered with project management firm RCP shadowing the onsite management team.

“It’s valuable seeing how such a large scale complex project works, it’s pretty awesome.”

Jack values the in-person, class-based learning environment at WITT Te Pūkenga and says it’s a real asset having builders and tradies like Ash as classmates: “Their experience is invaluable and they are often called upon in class discussion for the insights from their on-the-job perspective.”

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